Essential Knowledge About Pain

“I need to to be an active participant”


Important Self Reflection: Taking a passive role in your rehabilitation is not helpful.

Do any of these statements apply to you?

    • “I need to wait until someone can find what is wrong.”
    • “I just wish someone would fix me.”
    • “I am waiting for a doctor to contact me.”
    • “I am having continued passive treatments
      (e.g. massage, acupuncture, TENS) .”
    • “I am waiting for a report.”
    • “I am waiting until the insurer makes me an appointment.”
    • “I didn’t exercise this week because I just didn’t feel like it.”
    • “I forgot my appointment.”
  • “My lawyer told me I don’t need to go to that appointment.”
  • “I don’t speak to my employer.”
  • “The insurer doesn’t help me, so why should I help them?”
  • “I am waiting for someone to find me a new job.”
  • “This wasn’t my fault, so why should I have to do the work?”

If yes, you might want to consider a new approach. Although you may be right and things don’t seem fair since your injury – being right doesn’t help you get better. In fact, taking a passive or negative approach towards you problem is more likely to increase the pain and disability and delay your recovery.

OK I get the picture – so what can I do?


Here are some simple strategies to consider:

  • As an injured worker, you need to view getting back to work as your job
  • Think about the things that you can take control of and be proactive about
    • Make a schedule each day for what needs to be done
    • Try to keep to your regular sleep / activity routines if you are not at work
    • Schedule some time each day to fit in something that you enjoy
    • Make a list of the things you can do and do more of them, rather than focussing on the negatives
  • Try to keep regular contact with your employer to keep them informed of what is going on
  • Ask questions of your Health Care Professionals about what things you can be doing for yourself

Summary: Being an active participant

When you have a work injury, and particularly if you are not at work, it is easy to lose control and become a passive recipient waiting for help to find you. Taking a passive or negative approach towards you problem is more likely to increase your pain and disability and delay your recovery. Viewing getting back to work as your new job can be helpful. Being an active participant will help maximise your recovery.

Evidence Informed Information Compiled By Dr Darren Beales, PhD and Dr Tim Mitchell, PhD